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2-17. Breech Presentation

In a breech delivery, the baby's buttocks appear first instead of the head. Make every effort to get the mother to a hospital if it appears the baby will be a breech delivery. If there is no time to do this, follow these procedures:

  1. Make the same preparations as for a normal delivery.
  2. Allow the baby's buttocks and trunk to deliver spontaneously.
  3. When the infant's legs are clear, support the baby's legs and trunk.
  4. Allow the baby's head to deliver spontaneously.
  5. After the head delivers, continue as a normal birth.
NOTE: If the head does not deliver in three minutes, create an air passage by inserting your gloved hand in the vagina. Form a V with your fingers on either side of the baby's nose. Push the vaginal wall away from the baby's face, maintaining the airway you have created until the baby's head is delivered.


NOTE: If the head does not deliver in three minutes of establishing the airway, transport the mother to a hospital immediately. Have the mother's buttocks elevated on pillows or blankets and maintain the airway you have created for the baby.


  • DO NOT allow the head to be delivered forcefully
  • DO NOT pull the baby out.


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015